DGPT Match Play Wins For Heimburg, Pierce Add To 2021’s Record-Breaking EarningsPosted by On 21st September 2021


The FPO field has seen the biggest gains, but it’s visible across the sport.

Paige Pierce and Calvin Heimburg at the 2021 DGPT Match Play Championship. Photo: Brittany Dickerson/DGPT

Paige Pierce and Calvin Heimburg outlasted the loaded fields in an alternate tournament format to win the inaugural Disc Golf Pro Tour Match Play Championship over the weekend at the Steel Club in Pennsylvania’s Lehigh Valley.

The latest showcase event from the DGPT came with big cash bonuses for the victors — $10,000 — and nice payouts for every qualifier, with at least $1,000 guaranteed for 16 MPO players and $1,250 for eight FPO contestants. Eagle McMahon and Missy Gannon would have liked to add a first place trophy to the cabinet, but $6,000 and $5,000 prizes, respectively, as part of a more than $60,000 total purse isn’t bad for a couple days of work either.

Events and payouts of this magnitude have become more common since the Disc Golf Pro Tour joined the Elite Series, and the past two years have seen tournament winnings grow even more quickly. Last year’s DGPT Championship awarded $20,000 for first prize in both the Open and Open Women’s divisions, the largest cash prize ever awarded at a disc golf tournament, and this year’s PDGA Professional World Championship set a mark for total payout at an event at $173,000. As of June 2021, this season’s DGPT Championship already had more than $150,000 promised to the purse, with top prizes of at least $25,000 for each division’s winner.

While larger payouts benefit both divisions, the Open Women’s division has seen the most growth. Since the start of the 2021 season, five payouts of $5,000 or more have been awarded to FPO players. Before this year, only eight prizes of $5,000 or more (including a PDGA National Tour Bonus) had been given to the FPO division.

Top Prizes by Division

Year Tournament Division Player Place Prize
2020 DGPT Tour Championship MPO Kevin Jones 1 $20,000.00
2021 PDGA Pro Worlds MPO James Conrad 1 $16,500.00
2007 United States Disc Golf Championship MPO Ken Climo 1 $15,000.00
2009 United States Disc Golf Championship MPO Nikko Locastro 1 $15,000.00
2008 United States Disc Golf Championship MPO Nate Doss 1 $12,000.00
2010 United States Disc Golf Championship MPO Will Schusterick 1 $12,000.00
2017 PDGA Pro Worlds MPO Ricky Wysocki 1 $12,000.00
2017 United States Disc Golf Championship MPO Nate Sexton 1 $12,000.00
2019 United States Disc Golf Championship MPO James Conrad 1 $12,000.00
2005 United States Disc Golf Championship MPO Dave Feldberg 1 $11,000.00
2006 United States Disc Golf Championship MPO Barry Schutlz 1 $11,000.00
2003 United States Disc Golf Championship MPO Barry Schutlz 1 $10,000.00
2004 United States Disc Golf Championship MPO Ken Climo 1 $10,000.00
2016 PDGA Pro Worlds MPO Ricky Wysocki 1 $10,000.00
2016 United States Disc Golf Championship MPO Jeremy Koling 1 $10,000.00
2017 DGPT Tour Championship MPO Ricky Wysocki 1 $10,000.00
2017 PDGA National Tour Elite Series Bonus Payout MPO Paul McBeth 1 $10,000.00
2018 United States Disc Golf Championship MPO Paul McBeth 1 $10,000.00
2020 United States Disc Golf Championship MPO Chris Dickerson 1 $10,000.00
2020 DGPT Tour Championship MPO Chris Dickerson 2 $10,000.00
2021 PDGA Pro Worlds MPO Paul McBeth 2 $10,000.00
2021 DGPT Match Play Championship MPO Calvin Heimburg 1 $10,000.00
2020 DGPT Tour Championship FPO Hailey King 1 $20,000.00
2020 DGPT Tour Championship FPO Paige Pierce 2 $10,000.00
2021 PDGA Pro Worlds FPO Catrina Allen 1 $10,000.00
2021 DGPT Match Play Championship FPO Paige Pierce 1 $10,000.00
2021 PDGA Pro Worlds FPO Paige Pierce 2 $6,000.00
2021 PDGA Pro Worlds FPO Lisa Fajkus 3 $5,300.00
2017 PDGA Pro Worlds FPO Paige Pierce 1 $5,500.00
2018 PDGA Pro Worlds FPO Paige Shue 1 $5,000.00
2017 PDGA National Tour Elite Series Bonus Payout FPO Paige Pierce 1 $5,000.00
2016 PDGA Pro Worlds FPO Valarie Jenkins 1 $5,000.00
2019 PDGA Pro Worlds FPO Paige Pierce 1 $5,000.00
2020 DGPT Tour Championship FPO Catrina Allen 3 $5,000.00
2021 DGPT Match Play Championship FPO Missy Gannon 2 $5,000.00

Larger tournament earnings overall will also see the 2021 season set records for prize money won by individual players. As of September 20, five players have already eclipsed $50,000 in prize money on their PDGA profiles for the calendar year — Ricky Wysocki ($62,429, 21 events), Paige Pierce ($59,113, 21 events), Paul McBeth ($57,328, 21 events), Eagle McMahon ($56,415, 17 events), and Calvin Heimburg ($54,785, 22 events). Four of those players participated in the DGPT Match Play Championship, which contributed to their PDGA earnings,1 but McBeth declined his invitation and did not attend. McBeth did, however, earn $2,800 for a win at his own Battle for Bedford, a B-Tier.

Prior to 2021, only two players ever finished a season with more than $50,000 in PDGA earnings — McBeth four times and Wysocki twice. Wysocki holds the overall top sum for a season at $79,348.23 set in 2017 with 29 events, and McBeth’s highest yearly sum is $72,045 from 26 events in 2015.

Only Pierce from the Open Women’s division has finished a season above $40,000, setting the high mark at $41,328 in 2017. In 2021, Pierce and Allen2 are already above the $40,000 mark with Hailey King within striking distance. Pierce and Allen are the only two FPO players to ever finish above $30,000 in a year, and four players are already at or near that in 2021. To date, 2019 saw the most female players finish a season earning more than $10,000 with seven, and, in 2021, 14 women’s players are already at $10,000 or more.

In addition to tournament earnings, sponsorship bonuses, and tour fundraisers such as signature discs, players are also given more opportunities to increase their earning potential through media appearances. GK Pro’s popular OTB Tour Skins series gives players more chances to win cash outside of tournaments, and Gatekeeper Media has also recently hosted a match. Skins matches aren’t new, but the frequency and cash amounts are. In 24 skins matches in 2021 — 23 on GK, one on Gatekeeper — 14 players have earned $1,000 or more in total. McMahon leads the prize total in skins matches at $7,300 on three appearances, and Missy Gannon, $1,450, is the only FPO player on the list of top earners.

2021 Skins

  Total Brantwood GMC MVP Delaware Stafford Idlewild Eagles Crossing Preserve GLO DMC Canyons Worlds – Mulligans Worlds – Fort Portland OTB Goat Hill DDO Mid America Jonesboro Vintage Texas States Belton Waco LVC
Eagle McMahon $7,300 5000 900 1400
Calvin Heimburg $5,500 1300 1600 300 200 800 1000 300
Kevin Jones $4,500 700 200 900 1100 700 900
Matt Orum $3,625 1325 800 300 1200
Simon Lizotte $3,500 1600 900 1000
James Conrad $3,175 775 1100 500 600 200
Chris Dickerson $3,100 700 400 1300 700
Ricky Wysocki $2,975 575 700 900 800
Nate Sexton $2,100 0 1100 1000
Thomas Gilbert $2,000 1000 1000
Gavin Rathbun $1,700 700 400 600
Missy Gannon $1,450 1450
Silver Latt $1,150 250 900
Gregg Barsby $1,000 1000
Michael Johansen $900 900
Chris Clemons $900 900
Zach Melton $900 0 500 400
Garrett Gurthie $900 600 300
Trevor Harbolt $800 800
Cale Leiviska $700 100 600
Kona Panis $700 700
Colten Montgomery $700 700
Catrina Allen $700 100 600
Casey White $700 700
Ben Callaway $600 600
Nikko Locastro $600 600
Connor O’Reilly $600 600
Paul McBeth $600 600
Kyle Klein $600 600
Terry Rothlisberger $600 600
Albert Tamm $600 600
Emerson Keith $600 400 200
Eric Oakley $600 600
Paul Ulibarri $550 300 150 0 100
James Proctor $550 550
Nathan Queen $525 525
Jeremy Koling $500 400 100
Matt Bell $500 500
Reid Frescura $500 500
Nate Perkins $400 400
Dustin Keegan $400 400
Corey Ellis $300 300
Paige Pierce $300 300 0
Ezra Aderhold $300 300
Kristin Tattar $250 250
Bradley Williams $200 200
Luke Samson $200 200
Austin Hannum $100 100
Philo Brathwaite $100 100
Drew Gibson $100 100
Alex Russell $100 100
Rebecca Cox $50 50
Chandler Fry $50 50
Tristan Tanner $0 0
Ohn Scoggins $0 0

In all, 55 players have appeared in skins matches on YouTube in 2021. Paige Pierce is the only female player to appear in a standard Skins match, with the other five FPO players being featured in either mixed doubles or an FPO-only edition.

Skins matches have also benefited the top earners more on the MPO side as well. Of the top 20 current Open earners in 2021, 16 have appeared on at least one skins episode — Adam Hammes, Andrew Marwede, Joel Freeman, and Andrew Presnell are the exceptions. Six players who are not in the current top 20 earners — Gavin Rathbun, Nate Sexton, Gregg Barsby, Thomas Gilbert, Simon Lizotte, and Silver Latt — have earned at least $1,000 via skins matches.

Including earnings from skins, three players have already won more than $60,000 in 2021 — Wysocki, McMahon, Heimburg — and several large payouts loom at the Music City Open, USDGC/TPWDGC, and DGPT Tour Championship.

Added cash from sponsors, spectators, and subscriptions have raised the expectations when it comes disc golf payouts, and while in many instances the “rich get richer,” the benefits are also being seen further down the leaderboards.

Original source

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